when should i tell my child the truth about santa
But all it takes is a little tact, and an instruction to not go around bursting anyone's bubbles. Does it really seem like a constructive use of time to keep holding together this tissue of imbecility? Indeed, if it's immoral for adults to take advantage of their kids' credulity, it's also demeaning that we do it with such a patently ridiculous story. Let me start by saying my husband teared up at the thought of telling our oldest that there isn’t a Santa. We say, "Don't spoil the magic for them" or "Let them have their childhood". Explain the background. This is because children are especially attuned to the coherence of testimony they overhear from others about these entities. My mom let my dad write the gift tags that year, and my dad has very distinct handwriting. I think you are old enough to know but you have to promise to keep my secret if I tell you. After all, Christmas is such a wonderful time of year. A psychologist’s view December 21, 2015 4.51am EST.
As much as I believe that you should tell your kid the truth, I don’t think this is something we need to sweat over too hard. But I knew they were wrong. You're talking about a mythical being deciding whether you're getting presents or not". And if I'm unsure of pretty much every other parenting decision I've ever made, I am absolutely certain that I was right on this one. Giant Origami Christmas Trees – So much fun to make! If you think your child can generally keep a secret, Are kids in their peer group starting to hear about the truth, Is Christmas in your family about more about the birth of Jesus than Santa, Do you want to include them in the tradition. In truth perpetuating the Santa myth is not likely to hurt. While this may be a real possibility, it is probably one that can be managed. Another potential problem that is sometimes raised is that encouraging belief in Santa could make it difficult for children to distinguish between fantasy and reality – possibly delaying their cognitive development. And so we've explained to our kids that not everyone knows the truth about Santa, and it's not our job to correct them. But… that’s for heavy stuff like divorce, debt, and other dramas. However, any short-term benefit from believing in Santa vanishes when children stop believing in him. He just asked who bought the presents.
Tell them it’s you. Write an article and join a growing community of more than 115,000 academics and researchers from 3,739 institutions. Maybe she already knew? He thinks that we should tell our 10 year old daughter the truth about Santa, tooth fairy, Easter bunny. In fact, she didn't really even tell me — she just casually said one day, "You know about Santa, right?". The main argument against teaching your children to believe in Santa is that it is a lie. And that's a habit you start early, if you drop the Santa charade. Of course I will help you!” She gave me a cheerful, running hug and started to play with her sister’s Duplos. This is my daughter, Giselle. What made it worse was that I hadn't just believed in Santa, I had defended him. As children’s causal reasoning develops (“Santa is too fat to fit down the chimney”), they eventually realise that he is not real, while understanding that other things they can’t actually see, for example germs, are. There isn’t any evidence I’ve seen that lying about folklore that the whole community accepts and endorses hurts our kids. With that act, they become the essence of what we know to be Santa. Have I ruined Christmas for my son? Encouraging them to believe in Santa might actually temporarily make it harder for them to do so. It’s always possible that they might resent the deception or question your judgement in other areas – but if you are honest with them about why this situation is exceptional it’s unlikely your child will hold it against you for too long. My kids are in their 20s now and if you ask them, they will proudly say they believe in Santa.” ― Angela Robbins. But who decided that believing in nonsense was a vital part of childhood? To achieve real behavioural change, children must learn by reflecting on their own self-motivated behaviour. Bless you for caring and loving so much to be there for her. He was just a story like the ones in books and movies, we said, a bit of fun at Christmas. The only really tricky bit is that, unfortunately, many of our kids' friends have persisted in Santa-belief long past our family's Age of Enlightenment. The key task for parents is managing the likely disappointment that comes when their children eventually grasp the truth. Others, however, reflect joyfully on their childhood Christmas experiences, and hope to recapture some of that magic with their own youngsters. "If parents can lie so convincingly and over such a long time, what else can they lie about?
But research suggests that the ability to differentiate fact from fiction actually starts early in childhood and increases with age. And frankly, if they’re old enough to be wondering about it, they’re probably old enough to hear it straight. Young children can distinguish impossible entities (such as flying pigs) from possible ones – what they have trouble with is emotionally charged entities, such as monsters, and those endorsed by the surrounding society, including Santa.
One is the pleasure they get from the idea of the kindly old man with the big beard and sack of presents. Should You Tell Your Child The Truth About Santa? Some parents even tell their children that the Santa at the shops is the real one. This was true especially for children who believed that Princess Alice was real. Street hawkers selling toys for Christmas near Holborn, London.
Every time that we read a book or watch a movie, we suspend reality and enjoy it. Lying to our children has been shown, in several studies, to reduce the extent to which our children trust us. Give it context, and remind your child that other parents might not tell their kids so it’s just a secret for you to share for now. Only you know when it’s time. But I knew that her best friends had already figured it out in various ways, and that she was starting to doubt.
(If you’re really worried about this you can always be truthful with your child from the start and engage in pretend play: “Let’s pretend Santa is real and leave some cookies out for him!”). And I’ve had friends upset as they’re concerned my son will tell their children. My kids are in their 20s now and if you ask them, they will proudly say they believe in Santa.” ― Angela Robbins.
We would love to hear your ideas on how to tell your child the truth about Santa. While most people agree that it is bad practice to lie to children, most parents will make an exception when it comes to Santa Claus, the roly-poly, white-bearded philanthropist who visits at this time of year with a sleighload of gifts. Children react differently to hearing the news about Santa. It's a question parents often ask me in my therapy office. Both children and adults can be excited by what they know is fantasy. The conversation can be hard, no matter how they find out. As in, double digits. Jared Piazza, Lancaster University.
So you can certainly enjoy Christmas without believing in the annual suspension of the laws of time and space to allow a global delivery run by an ageless man with an over-active generosity gland. The main argument against teaching your children to believe in Santa is that it is a lie. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Good luck to you and I hope you have peace with whatever you decide to do. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. I guess it was a disillusioning day for all of us. Christmas: Should you tell your child the truth about Santa Claus? It is also a simple way to manipulate children into behaving well. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. There isn’t any … Of course, not everyone’s a fan – some oppose the Santa myth on religious grounds. The argument against telling kids the truth, of course, is always, "Oh, let the little ones have their fun". When is the NRL grand final, who's performing the pre-game show and how can I watch? You don't have to be a Grinch about it — just tell them the truth. This was true especially for children who believed that Princess Alice was real. Copyright © 2010–2020, The Conversation US, Inc. Mum, I’ve been doing this for 10 minutes now … where is Santa!. You can enjoy The Princess Bride without believing that Billy Crystal can re-animate corpses. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. We found that, compared to playing unsupervised, children who first “met” Princess Alice (her presence implied by an empty chair) followed the rules of the game more closely, on a par with children who were supervised by a real adult. I felt sorry for the other kids, whose parents had let their scepticism go too far. So when my 5 year old son (who isn’t even at school yet) asked me straight up last week ‘mummy is Santa real?’, I was taken aback and put on the spot. Evidence clearly points to deceit as devastating for our relationships with our children. Encouraging them to believe in Santa might actually temporarily make it harder for them to do so. Similarly, kids play make-believe games and find tremendous joy (like mums and dads, or doctors and nurses). We told them Santa was pretend when they were about three or four — when they were old enough to start asking questions about it.
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